Thursday, 28 February 2013

On The Eighth Day God Had His Appraisal Interview

Scene: Outside a large office block. Slightly dilapidated sign reads "Universe Constructions, Inc."

Scene moves into austere wood-panelled office. Desk; two chairs: One large, leather with arms; one small wooden, wobbly.

Important-looking man in suit (Zeus) open door for long-haired, youth dressed in white toga and sandals and holding a staff for no apparent good reason. Has a superior looking smirk, and a slight twitch in one eye.

Zeus: Ah! Yahweh. Nice to see you. Take a seat... No! That one is mine. That one, please.

Okay! Now the purpose of this chat is to give you a some feedback on how your probationary period is going, and for you to let us know if you're having any problems. Sort of two-way process keeping everything on track so to speak. The HR department insist on it but we all have our cross to bear, don't we, and the head of HR can get really cross. Ha ha ha!

I like to keep it informal but the important thing is that we are both frank and honest with one another. No elephants in the corner so to speak. Ha ha.

[Yahweh looks around at the corners, frowns. Eye twitches.]

So, you've been with us a week now. How do you think it's gone?

Yahweh: Great! Super! I'm not one to boast but I really am Supreme, aren't I! I've got a few ideas for my career I'd like to run past you... you know... job titles, unlimited power... that sort of thing. You must be very proud to have me here.

Zeus: Um... well, you'll have plenty of time for that later, let's not rush too far ahead. Let's look at your first week here first, shall we?

Yahweh: Yeah! What a week, eh? So much creating! I bet you're all talking about it.

Zeus: Um... well, we've certainly spoken about it... What were your objectives exactly? Do you remember? We discussed them on the first morning.

Yahweh: Er... was it to create a universe? Yeah! Create a universe and be the Supreme Ruler of it, starting with a planet in the middle of it.

Had to think outside the box there Big Z - can I call you 'Z'? Just creating a planet just didn't seem to be what a future CEO would do so I kinda re-wrote the objective a bit.

Zeus: A bit? (My name is Zeus by the way. You can call me Boss or Father of Gods if you wish).

Yahweh: A bit? Yeah, well, quite a lot really. But if you want a job done properly you have to do it yourself, I always say.

Zeus: We'll cover delegating later, if we ever get that far - which is not yet guaranteed you understand! No. That wasn't a question; it was a statement!

Remind me what your project specification was again. The actual specification, not what you thought it should have been. The specification that I wrote, by the way, which er... wasn't done properly, it seems.

Yahweh: Umm... to make a planet with life on it.

Zeus: Quite so. A planet with life on it. And we gave you a forming solar system to put it in, didn't we.

How did you go about planning the task?

Yahweh: Planning? I just got on with it. Being omniscient means I know what to do and exactly how to do it.

Zeus: I see. Did you look at any other planets to get any ideas? Did you talk to anyone about what planets are? Or did you just rely on this... umm... omniscience?

Yahweh: I thought that was for me to decide...

Zeus: You thought... You seem to have thought a lot, unfortunately not always about the right things.

Yahweh: That's the great thing about being omniscient. You just know things.

Zeus: [Sigh!] What makes you think you're omniscient?

Yahweh: Definition!

Zeus: Definition?

Yahweh: Of course! Definition! I defined my self as omniscient. I can do that because I'm omnipotent! Because I'm omniscient there can't be anything I don't know. [Eye begins to twitch]

Zeus: Ye Gods! So there is nothing you don't know and nothing we can teach you here? Hmm...?

Yahweh: Well, nothing I can think of... Nope! I don't know anything that I don't know. Which is why I'm such a great asset to you...

Zeus: You don't know anything you don't know, eh? Hmm... Well, let's press on.

What about this planet you ended up creating. How long did it take?

Yahweh: Six days! Worked on Saturday to get it done. No nine to five, five day week for a future CEO is there Z... er Boss!

Zeus: As I said, we can discuss the future... well, some time in the future... if you have one here....

Now. That planet you took six days creating... without looking at any other planets or talking to anyone...

Yahweh: Yeah! Great isn't it. Did a great job there even if I say so myself!

Zeus: Well, as you said, if you want something doing, or in your case, saying, you have to say it yourself.

But six days is rather a long time. It was supposed to be a quick Monday morning job just to see how you went about a simple task. Have you seen how many trillions of planets there are? If we had taken six days on each we'd have barely made a start by now.

But tell me about this planet, and the life you created on it.

Yahweh: Er... well, its a planet with living things like animals, fishes, crawly things, and a human who can talk.

I forgot the elephant didn't I!

Zeus: Just one?

Yahweh: What? Just one elephant... in the corner?

Zeus: Just one talking human.

Yahweh: Oh! Not the elephant then. Er... yes, just one human. Is that a problem?

Zeus: Who is it going to talk to?

Yahweh: Crickey! Never thought of that! I know! I can make another one so it will have someone to talk to! How about if I make a talking snake too? Or donkeys! Or an elephant!

Zeus: Let's wait till we're through before we decide if a correction plan is needed or whether we just write this off as a learning experience, shall we?

Yahweh: Correction? What's wrong with it? It looks perfect to me... well, apart from that little thing with the talking... and the missing elephant.

Look! If I'm perfect, how could I have made something which isn't perfect?

Zeus: Well quite! I was wondering that very thing myself...

Let's move on to the planet itself. Do you see any problem with it?

Yahweh: Problem? No. It looks okay to me. Quite pretty in fact. Lot of work there you know Z... er... Boss Father.

Zeus: It's flat!

Yahweh: What?

Zeus: It's flat! You made a flat planet!

Yahweh: Er... is that not right?

Zeus: No. Do you see any other flat planets? You didn't look did you! You didn't actually do any research you just assumed you knew it all...

What about gravity? Gravity would pull a big thing like a planet into a spherical shape so you've had to include a massive amount of wasted energy keeping it flat.

Yahweh: Well, I am omniscient, like I explained earlier... I wondered what that thing pulling on everything was. Gravity you say? Where did that come from? And where does all the rain go to if it hasn't got an edge to run over?

Zeus: You explained that you don't know anything you don't know. Do you not see any problem with that?

You didn't know about gravity did you. You didn't think to look at other planets and ask yourself why they are all spherical did you?

Yahweh: Not a problem! I can make it spherical later on.

Zeus: Well, gravity can make it spherical without your help.

And what about the dome thing you put on top of it? What on earth is that for?

Yahweh: That's a firmament. Smart, eh?

Zeus: A firmament? And what does it do exactly? Anything?

Yahweh: Yeah! A firmament! I'm glad you brought it up. It was a brilliant solution wasn't it! Dead pleased with myself there!

Zeus: Solution for what, exactly?

Yahweh: Two problems: first, the problem of keeping all the water out, and second, the problem of what to stick the sun, moon and stars to.

Zeus: [Head in hands] All the water?

Yahweh: All that water that the sky is made of - you know, where the rain comes from... that blue stuff.

Zeus: Write this down - "I must learn about weather and how it works, and what space is."

Yahweh: Not water then? So where does rain come from?

Zeus: That's why you need to learn about meteorology.

Yahweh: Meteorology as well as weather?

Zeus: And basic literacy... Yes, yes yes... meteorology.

Yahweh: But the firmament is still needed for the sun and moon and stars...

Zeus: [Sigh!] Add basic astronomy and physics to that list too...

Still think there is nothing you don't know? Don't answer that!

I hear you 'created' light before you created the sun. Is that right?

Yahweh: Surely did. I thought, how are people going to know it's daytime, so I put a sun on the firmament as a sign that it was daytime, then I put a moon so they could tell it was night. How neat is that, eh?

Zeus: Light comes from the sun. It's light during the day because the sun is in the sky. It's dark at night because the sun is not in the sky.

Yahweh: Is it? You sure? When did they start that then? What about moon light?

Zeus: Trust me!

The planet goes round the sun which was already there! Did you not notice that? It's that gravity thing again!

Heaven alone knows what those little lamps you hung on your firmament dome thing are for. I assumed it was decoration.

No leave it! Let's press on... Just a couple more things to cover:

Are you just going to leave it with just a few living things or do you want them to reproduce? What do you think we meant by 'living'?

Yahweh: I know that one! It means breathing, doesn't it!

Zeus: No. What about plants?

Yahweh: Plants? Are they alive? I thought they were just animal food?

Zeus: No. Plants are alive too, but what I meant was, what will happen when they've eaten all the plants?

Yahweh: Blimey! I need to think of a way to automate this so they make more plants, don't I!

Zeus: Well, at least we're getting past that delusion of omniscience. Now, what about the carnivores?

Yahweh: Aren't they great! You can have hours of fun watching them chase things then kill them. Have you seen how lions rip the guts out of things while they're still alive? You should hear them bellowing! And the way crocodiles drown things! Brilliant, eh? I could watch it for hours! Well worth creating planets and things just to see that!

Zeus: Pass me the waste bin will you, I think I might be sick. What will they eat when they've eaten all their food?

Yahweh: Gosh! Missed that one too! I've got a bit more work to do still, haven't I.

Zeus: Well, someone has... If we decide to continue with your... um... shall we call it your 'apprentice piece'?

Now, what about the carnivores?

Yahweh: What about them? We've just talked about how great they are with big teeth and claws...

Zeus: Well, for some unknown reason you made lots of small microbes and viruses that eat them and kill them. No doubt you find that great fun to watch too but what happens when they're all gone? What will the microbes do?

Yahweh: That means it's not just plants and plant-eaters which need to be replaced. It all does, doesn't it! Continually! I never thought about the longer term!

I know. I could let them use those sex organs things I gave them for reproducing. I wondered what they were for. That would solve it, eh? Job jobbed!

Zeus: Did you really not know that 'living' means reproducing? All the rest is just a means to that end. Maybe you should add ecology and biology to your list of things to study.

Yahweh: No need. I've just thought of sex so they all keep replacing themselves. Nothing can go wrong now! Omniscience you see!

Zeus: Apart from one little problem...

Yahweh: Little problem?

Zeus: When you were creating the rules, for what reason we will probably never know and I'm certainly not going to try to get to the bottom of it now, you made using sex organs for sex a sin so all the higher life on your planet will be sinful, according to your rules.

Yahweh: Sex is yucky! Touching all those yucky girly bits! Ughh! I'm not having them enjoying it. Why would they love me if I couldn't save them from myself for the sin of having yucky sex? No point in creating a planet in the first place!

And stop going on about foreskins! Have you ever tried to design one? It's not easy! I'll get them to cut them off! No body is to mention the foreskins! Okay! [twitch now includes cheek and ear]

Zeus: Foreskins? [shrugs, puts head in hands]

Anyway, as I said, I'm not going to try to fathom your thinking out now, but that's it then; your creation is doomed, just so it can love you, and because you've got a sex obsession. Nice one. [Shakes head]

Yahweh: Me! A sex obsession? It's all those animals who keep doing it!

I know! I'll let them have sex until there are millions of the filthy, sinful things, then I'll drown them all. That'll teach 'em for not being properly designed... [eye twitching get worse]

Zeus: Look! I think we're done here...

Yahweh: I know! I'll save a few so I can start again with those... That will save having to design new ones. Fingers crossed they'll be better next time... And when there are enough humans I can get them to kill one another. I enjoy a good war.

Women could be prizes if the men like touching their girly bits so much! Then I can punish them again! This is going to be great!

Zeus: Enough! The interview is over! Wait in the waiting room while I talk to colleagues and don't touch anything unless you have a supervisor with you. Close the door on your way out...

Yahweh: ... and I'll make a huge pit of fire to put everyone in so I can watch them writhing in agony and if that doesn't make them love me I'll just blow the place up and kill the lot of them with brimstone and treacle... No one messes with the Supreme Ruler of the Universe I tell you. I'll show those bastards.... [twitching extends to rest of face and includes shoulder]

Zeus: Mind you don't shut your fingers in the door... Ouch! You just did!

Jesus H. Christ! Can someone get some deodorizer in here! I think someone needs his diaper changing.

Ah! Come in Saturn! Good to see you again.

Look! I'm going to have to let that Yahweh fellow go. You probably heard the talk after last week's debacle.

Just tried to talk it over with him, god to god. Extraordinary! Completely clueless with the maturity of a spoiled ten year-old, and dangerously unbalanced if you ask me. We can't have an unstable psychopath who's too stupid to know he's silly about the place. Do you suppose he was home-schooled or something?

I don't know what the HR people were thinking of. Affirmative action is all very well but there are limits. I was wondering if we have a spare volcano we can put him in charge of, preferable a long-extinct one? Seems to have a thing about fiery pits and brimstone, and elephants - kept looking in the corner every time one was mentioned. Weird!

I wonder if HR have access to any counselling services we could point him to.

What is treacle anyway?

How are the children? Still keeping well?

Oh! You've eaten them! Sorry, I didn't realise...


Thank you for sharing!

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  1. Recently started reading your blog, and must say really enjoy your considered and sometimes funny take on particularly fundamental religious thinking.
    My own concerns are with creationists and intelligent design, there seems to be more and more people willing to believe this nonsense or am I just being alarmist?

    1. In USA, possibly, and maybe in the less-developed parts of Africa.

      Most of the rest of the developed world is just open-mouthed in amazement that anyone not under full-time adult supervision believes it nowadays.


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